Time to go to Tuscany! It takes approximately 12 hours to get from Aix to Pisa by train. There were a few different train times we could select from, for this leg of our journey. Lynn, Kris, Jacqui, and I decided to start early so we could see some of Pisa when we arrived. We got up early -- very early -- to catch a 7:40am train. The hotel wasn't even open for breakfast, so we nearly had to go hungry. Fortunately, we were able to get pain au chocolate and Orangina at the train station. (Our very last of either treat for the vacation!)
We did not take the bikes with us, so we had to carry our luggage ourselves. For me, this meant carrying all of my bike bags in my hands -- not nearly as easy as my bike made it look. We had to switch trains 3 times over the next 12 hours, so we had to stay somewhat alert....
The first train lasted 45 minutes, and Lynn and I managed to scribble out 10 postcards during that ride so that they could be mailed with a French postmark. The first stop was Marseille, and it was the last French town we saw -- ever. We had 10 minutes to find our next train and a letterbox to mail our postcards. We made it, but we really didn't get a chance to see much any of the sights.
The next leg of the trip was a bit longer, 3.5 hours. We mostly napped and enjoyed the scenery -- when we next disembarked, we were in Italy. Ventimiglia, right near the French/Italian border.
We had an hour to wait in Ventimiglia, so Brek had suggested we have lunch. We dragged our luggage across the street from the train station to the first restaurant we saw. Much to our chagrin, we found that it was called The American Bar. We'd come all the way to Italy, and our first meal was to be in an American bar?! But it was too much trouble to find anything else...in fact right after we'd piled our luggage next to our outdoor table it started to rain. So we dragged all of the bags indoors and piled them in a corner.